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What Heritage Day Historic Tour Preview
Where Zwartkops Raceway, Pretoria
When Saturday 23 September 2023
Community Gauteng Regional

What better than Zwartkops’ Heritage Day Historic Tour

Heritage Day is a time to reflect, a time to look back and to celebrate all that is good and great. What better way for a race fan to do that, than trackside by the braai on a fine Pretoria spring afternoon at Zwartkops’ Historic Tour on Saturday 23 September? Not only are you able to toast the giants of South African and international racing competing in several classes, but you also qualify for a special deal on tickets for the big one, January’s Zwartkops Passion for Speed.

Getting back to the racing, expect a bumper day on track. Always a highlight, the Legends of the 9 Hour races are quite literally a battle of the giants as monster Fords and Chevys fight it out with the rest. Talking about legends and South African motorsport heritage, Ben Morgenrood is always in the thick of it in his Mustang against Hennie Groenewald’s Cougar, the du Toit brothers Jonathan’s Chevy Nova, and Mark in a Ford Fairlane Thunderbolt, and little Paige Lindenberg in her monster Ford Fairlane, among others.

Another major highlight, the International Sports, GT, and Production Car races will call back the halcyon daze of the Kyalami 9 hour endurance race and the incredible Springbok Series of the 1960s and ‘70s. Expect Peter Bailey’s Porsche 917 tribute to have its hands full with the likes of Larry Wilford and Mark du Toit’s rumbling V8 Lola T70s, Jonathan du Toit and Allen Meyer’s wieldy Chevron B8s and Cobras the likes of Warren Lombard’s AC and James Temple’s Daytona Coupé.

Be sure of a GT squabble behind them between rumbling American Trans Am muscle, Ben Morgenrood once again in his Ford Mustang and Hennie Groenewald’s Chevy Camaro. They are up against European sophistication in Andre van der Merwe and George Avvakoumides’ Porsche 911 RSRs, Sophos Pantazis’ rice rocket Datsun 240Z and some good old British grunt in Josh Dovey’s Ginetta, just as it was back in the Springbok Series day.

Moving on to the open wheelers, it’s a big day for the Historic Single Seaters, which celebrate a quarter century of racing at Zwartkops on Saturday. So, expect a few big Formula 3 guns and really old school South African Grand Prix specials to join in the quarter century fun between the regular Formula Fords Van Diemen trio Steve Venter, Matt Nash and Dalan Holton, Dulon duo, Paul Richardson and Des Hillary, Patrick Dunseith in a Merlyn, Andrew Horne’s Royale, and Ron Liddiard in a Lotus 51A. Colin Clay and Robbie Frank’s closed wheel Lotus 23s offer a little variety, and don’t forget the Vees, including Jan Jacobs, Paul Manegold’s Wilkie, and James Derbyshire in a Bolsup.

There’s always close racing in the Ben Morgenrood Group HRSA Sprint Races. Will that be stirred up by coastal Chevy Can Am duo Rudolf de Vos and East London’s Darron Gudmanz running interference with Porsche men Andre van der Merwe and Peter Bailey? rest assured that Stuart König and Jannie van Rooyen’s wieldy Class Sciroccos is always effective at Zwartkops, while Scirocco duo, Fred König, and Andre ten Napel take on Gavin Lundin and Travis Jensen’s Datsuns, and Rene van Rensburg and Reg Sutton’s Escorts in Class D.

Class E is war between Datsun trio Sean Hepburn, Franz, and Peder Jensen, Scirocco four Terence Ladner, Johan Gouws, Riaan Roux and Jono König, Escort duo Nigel Townshend and Meredith Willis, and Andre de Lange’s Mazda rotary. Tihan van Rooyen’s Porsche 924 races Willem Vorster’s Escort, Grant Cramer’s Datsun, and Hendrik van Zyl’s Anglia in Class F.

An interesting new addition to the HRSA grid are the rapidly growing Classic Youngtimers. Loosely based on SATCAR and Group N racers of the ‘90s, these showroom stock cars are identified by bright green windscreen decals. Watch for another man of much racing heritage, Mike O’Sullivan and Rob Clark’s Ballades taking Jonathan Visser’s Jetta, Tiaan Smith and Wimpie Van Zyl’s Sentras and Stuart McClarty’s Etude on in this growing grid.

The Ben Morgenrood Group HRSA Pursuit handicap Races will see Porsche drivers, Wernher Hartzenberg and Willem du Plessis Sr. up against Johann Smith’s Skyline, Mike Thomson’s Capri, Rob van Aarle’s Escort, and Andre Kotze’s Mercedes. Althea Pretorius’ Nissan Exa leads the Modified charge against Jose Vasques’ Mercedes, Riaan Roux in a Scirocco, Willem van Niekerk’s Marauder, Alfa men Gerrit Murray and Hilton Ewart, and Greg White’s Escort.

Formula Monoposto is another rapidly growing class dominated by Formula GTi, Formula Fords, Formula Vee and Super Vee and Formula Ms. Watch for Grant Will’s Ashley, Swift GTi trio Allen Meyer, Steve Venter and Louis van der Merwe, with Lushen Ramchander, Blane de Meilon and Jeandre le Roux racing Formula Super Vees. Formula M entries include Ludivicus Gerber, Herman Krige, Aidan Morrow, and Cornel Smit, while Bruce van Niekerk, Kennedy Torres and Mark Tucker’s Vees add variety.

Racing behind the Legends of the 9 Hour V8s, the Marlboro Crane Hire U2s and Little Giants, there’s another celebration of South African racing heritage as Ish Baloyi, Andre de Kock and John Ten Doeschate’s SA-made Dart Alfas take on another local legend, the Protea racing in John Ten Doeschate’s hands, against imports the likes of Robin Clarke’s MG B-GT.

They will mix it up with the production cars that made South African racing so great in the ‘sixties. Cortina trio Ben van der Westhuizen’s Lotus, Chris Williams’ GT, and Jonathan Needham in a Mk.2, Deon Schwabsky’s Escort, and Brain Rowlings’ Anglia take on Mini Cooper trio, Terrence Botes, Donovan Meyer, and Kyle Brink. And never forget the Alfa Romeos represented by Marc Mille and Roger Houston, among others.

A full and entertaining day’s racing by the braai, Zwartkops’ 23 September Heritage Day Historic Tour’s track action is backed by displays, demos, car club expos and parades, kid’s entertainment, food, and refreshment stalls, and so much more, including those special discount Passion for Speed tickets!

Racing starts early after qualifying, it’s R100 for adults, R80 for students and free for under 12s to get in. Sounds like a brilliant way to celebrate Braai Day trackside on a fine Pretoria spring Saturday!

Issued on behalf of Zwartkops Raceway

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